FIFA should investigate allegations that the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid team ran a campaign to undermine rivals, a British Member of Parliament has said.
The Sunday Times reported that leaked documents revealed that the Qatar bid team used former CIA agents and a public relations company to sabotage other bidders by suggesting they did not have the domestic backing for a World Cup — a key FIFA requirement.
Qatar won the right to stage the tournament, defeating other bids from Australia, the United States, South Korea and Japan, in 2010.
Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said it rejected the allegations, but Damian Collins, who chairs the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said an investigation should be carried out.
“It requires a proper independent investigation, and FIFA should make clear that will happen,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “If the Qataris have broken the rules, they should face some sanctions.”
FIFA rules decree that bidders should not make “any written or oral statements of any kind, whether adverse or otherwise, about the bids or candidatures of any other member association.”
In 2014, world football’s governing body cleared Qatar’s bid of corruption after a two-year investigation led by lawyer Michael Garcia, concluding that “for the most part the bidding process was fair and thorough.”
However, the documents seen by the Sunday Times, which said they had been leaked by a whistleblower, were reported to have been unavailable during that investigation.